Monday, December 5, 2016

christmas and basketball

that was what our week felt like.
Christmas tradition. then basketball practice. then Christmas tradition. then basketball game.
with a few chores and homework mixed in ;-)
the last few years we have done "acts of kindness" every day in the month of December. it helps us remember that other people besides OURSELVES do exist. with my kids getting older, we are letting them be involved and even take over parts of our traditions. example: the  girls hung the garland on the stairs. 100%. it was amazing.

over the weekend, I asked bailey and Rebekah to make a list of things we could do for our acts of kindness. so they did. on 5 sticky notes (not how I would have done it, but...)

then I asked Joshua and Bailey to figure out the calendar. I reminded them to cross-reference it with our family calendar to make sure the act of kindness was POSSIBLE on that day. they did a good job!
pokemon card trading.
I LOVE my house at Christmastime
how did we EVER "do" Christmas before Amazon?!?
bailey was invited to go ice skating with some friends on Friday night. cute, cute girls!! I adore every single one of them. AND their moms! how awesome is that!?
we had 6 basketball games on Saturday. it was fun. and I decided I need a seat cushion. those bleachers (or floor! depending on the gym we were in) are HARD on my body!! :-)
sawyer played his 1st (and 2nd) basketball games of his life and LOVED every single second.
it was fun cheering them on!! {Rebekah got a concussion in her game on Friday night. :-( so she slept a LOT this weekend...she's hoping she can practice/play this week...but we'll see...}

ended the weekend doing our advent reading by the fire in the driveway with hot chocolate in our hands. it felt like a movie. or dream. it was awesome. and I think we were all as ready as we could possibly be for a week ahead.

we wait :: 5

I love this description of how Jesus lived when He was here on the earth. we like to create who Jesus was, but when we read who His friends said He was (from the Gospels in the Bible), we get the REAL picture. just like if someone asked OUR friends who we are. it's way more accurate than someone that just reads your blog or Instagram and creates WHO you are, right?

"Jesus ate and drank so often that his enemies accused him of being a drunk and a glutton- a friend of sinners. In the eyes of the Pharisees, Jesus was a wild party animal who ate to excess, drank to excess, and lounged around with the lowest of the low. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave. When Jesus showed up to the meal, he brought the party. He reclined himself at the table and stayed well into the evening, long after any upstanding person would have gone home."

Thank you for this, Lori!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

we wait :: 4

"And we read the headlines and wonder, "If there's a God who really cares, He'd look at this world and His heart would break.

And God looks to the Cross, that real Tree, and says, 'My heart did.'"

Ann Voskamp

every day i'm reminded WHY Christmas HAD to happen. why Christmas IS the greatest gift. Jesus coming to ultimately die for us on the cross gives me HOPE each day as I stumble and fail and fall at His feet for forgiveness and grace time after time.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

we wait :: 3

"In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you've never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment."

Frederick Buechner

Friday, December 2, 2016

we wait :: 2

"The finest gift we bring is our willingness to stare pain in the face while carols hold the beat."

Shannan Martin

I love this article, how she reminds us that gratitude lives alongside sorrow. and THAT is why Jesus came.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

we wait :: 1

it's December 1.
and so begins the countdown to Christmas.

the last couple years, we've done something that has become one of my favorite traditions (I have quite a few!)

it is a visual reminder of the LIGHT that we are waiting for as we creep closer to Christmas Day. Jesus IS the Light of the World. as we anticipate being able to celebrate His birth, the light grows.

on December 1, we eat dinner by the light of ONE candle.
on December 2, we eat dinner by the light of TWO candles...
and on and on.

it's hard to see our food the first few nights! truly!

but as the days and weeks pass, the light grows. and our hearts swell with thankfulness for the LIGHT that lights our way.
I have no shortage of "advent" books/devotionals. i'm hoping to post a small thought or quote here each day. we'll see if I can actually be consistent ;-) but i'd love to be!

how we wait for Jesus is just as important as how we celebrate His coming!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

thanksgiving weekend

it was a good, good weekend. we are ridiculously blessed.

spent thanksgiving at my brother's house. with most of my family (minus Hannah and her family :( ) and some of my sister-in-law's family. it was a wonderful day!
the day after thanksgiving, we spent at Hersheypark like we do EVERY year. it's the kick-off to our Christmas season.

we went with the Young's and had such a good day. got to catch up for REAL. the kids did great. the weather was perfect.

Saturday we decorated. and then Pat and I went out on a "Christmas shopping date" that night - another tradition that has been going on for YEARS. some of the kids were still up when we got home and I captured how Pat had to go touch their heads when we got home. he works so hard for us, and misses seeing them a lot of the time. weekends like this are SO sweet for get to be WITH us.
sunday we got our tree. changed it up and went to a Christmas tree lot around the corner instead of cutting it down. decorated it that night. I didn't get a single picture. maybe because it fell twice and we were about ready to throw it on the curb :/ I think we are going to get a fake one going forward. we are all kinda done with all the stress the "real" ones bring into our home.

so, lots of traditions continued...and one that we're all fine ending. :-)

it felt like a really long a good way.